Friday, 6 March, 2015


Danny Pearson MP, member for Essendon, was today visited by representatives from Ascot Vale Progress Kindergarten and called for the Abbott Government to continue funding 15 hours of kinder for four-year-olds.

The evidence shows that attending 15 hours of kindergarten per week the year before starting prep is important for a child’s development and improves school readiness.

Under a National Partnership Agreement, the states fund 10 hours of four-year-old kindergarten and the Federal Government funds five hours. However, the agreement is set to expire at the end of this year.

While Victoria has committed to continuing funding 10 hours of kindergarten, the Federal Government has not committed to maintaining its share of the National Partnership Agreement.

This has caused great anxiety for parents and uncertainty for kindergartens which need to plan budgets, timetables, enrolments and staffing for 2016 and beyond.

In 2015, almost all (99.9%) of Victoria’s 2168 kindergartens are providing children with 15 hours of quality, teacher-led preschool education in the year before school.

Premier Daniel Andrews has written to the Prime Minister about the importance of continuing the National Partnership Agreement.

Minister for Families and Children, Jenny Mikakos, has highlighted the urgency of this issue and the need for the Federal Government to act quickly to end the uncertainty for parents of preschool children.

Quotes attributable to Member for Essendon Danny Pearson MP:

“Progress Kinder needs to plan for the next few years but Tony Abbott isn’t providing any certainty.”

“This is an important issue for families in Essendon. Our kids can’t miss out.”

“15 hours of kindergarten makes a real difference to how children develop and grow, and to how they fare at school.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children, Jenny Mikakos

“The Abbott Government must commit to funding 15 hours of kindergarten for our kids.”

“Victorian kindergarten services – and our passionate and hardworking kindergarten teachers – need certainty as soon as possible.”